Mayor Miriam Levitt Flisser addressed the Village of Scarsdale at Tuesday night's meeting. Below is her full address:
You will all notice that the finalized will be adopted by the Board tonight. I thank everyone, Staff, Board and Committee members, Village organizations, and Village residents, for their input to our process. I note that there were no increases in Departmental budget lines, that costs of Pension and Health care remain inflexible by State mandate, and that the VB has made adjustments to the first proposed budget in order to restore critical capital infrastructure projects which had originally been deleted.
I particularly send thanks to Nan Berke from the LWV for their members' diligence, very close observation, and study of our process over the past months, and their support for our decisions this year.
Thanks to Howard Nadel from The Forum's Fiscal Committee for their usual attentiveness. Although they expressed some difference in details of expenditures and fees, we held to essentially the same philosophy.
Concerning resident comments, I note that "Inflation rates" are not a major indicator for us; over the years, we deal with, among other issues, skewed increasing contractual mandates for Health Care and Retirement benefits; and there is our aging and deteriorating infrastructure, which, if ignored, will result in collapse of our Village environment. It's impossible to pave roads, at the request of bicyclists, for example, using cost-effective first class techniques instead of shoddy quick fixes, and also honor their simultaneous requests to keep these expenditures low.
I also note that two residents advised the reduction of our Village fund balances. This was a complex element thoroughly discussed by the VB at dedicated meetings, and which garnered only minimal support from the Trustees on the Board. The balances were created in different economic times, when the Village's income from Real Estate transfers, interest rates, and sales tax, were a major income stream. They would not be so easily replenished in time of need.
As we start over, all these issues will be reconsidered, once again, next year.
Thank you all for your involvement.